Recently on the presidential campaign, in Federal Reserve speeches, and on Capitol Hill, there is no shortage of new ideas to reform finance. Glass-Steagall, break-ups, ever-higher capital requirements, and repeal and replace have all dominated discussions.
Often missed in these discussions are transformational changes in the banking sector, and specifically among large banks. Capital has more than doubled, liquidity has more than tripled, and large banks have dramatically simplified structures to support resolution strategies.
At the same time, trade-offs exist in all policies, and current and proposed reforms must be weighed against their impact on the economy at large. Large banks serve multinational clients, support small businesses, and are consumers’ most popular choice for deposits.